Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
dixielandgrl
Posts: 285
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Clay's protectiveness

Oh yeah I forgot a part. The former murder suspicion is a new part that I was insipred to throw in by a real story. I thought it made the perfect reason for them to be skittish. Eva has been cleared. It was a few years ago, but she was tried in the press before being cleared by finding the killer.

Sadly, it really happened to a woman in Virginia. Had a dream, found a woman, and went to jail. There was no obvious connection between her and the victim. so the motive was she was "pretending to be psychic" and apparently killed this woman to do it. You can guess, it was the ex. But in real life the woman had a very close call with a life sentence.
"If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be:" Thomas Campion
Frequent Contributor
ChristineM
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎12-31-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Clay's protectiveness

See, as the little sister of 2 and the wife of an eldest I don't think Clay would hesitate to go for the throat if he thought Eva was threatened. Fortunately, I haven't gotten into any real scrapes because my brother only gets more ferocious. My sister turned into a mother hen at the drop of a hat. You could go that way with Clay if you're worried about him being threatening. Roberta was standing at the gate as I was about to get on a 17 hour flight to Korea saying, "Don't forget to get up and walk around the plane every 45 minutes." Clay could turn into a fusser and only be really pushy in extreme circumstances.

I've heard about psychics being tried for murders because they found the body. Meg Cabot did a series called 1-800-Where-Are-You about a girl who is struck by lightning and afterward, whenever she looks at a picture, she knows where the person in the photo is. She uses it to find kids on the backs of milk cartons, but the people at the hotline start thinking she's got something to do with the disappearances, then the government gets involved and they want her to find terrorists. It's a teen series of 4 to 6 books, you could probably finish them all in a long weekend.
Frequent Contributor
dixielandgrl
Posts: 285
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Clay's protectiveness

Wow, what a story! I think someone should do a story on remote viewing terrorists. that would be so cool. You know we did it in the cold war.
"If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be:" Thomas Campion
Frequent Contributor
ChristineM
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎12-31-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Clay's protectiveness

If you like 1-800-Where-Are-You, Cabot wrote another series called The Mediator which is very Buffy-like only the girl is a ghost hunter. She's not a Medium because she doesn't just tlak to ghosts, she's a Mediator because she helps them get to the other side. The Mediator series comes complete with a to die for male ghost who lives in the heroines bedroom.

Seriously, long weekend material. Maybe not that long. I read them all over my lunch hours when I worked at Borders and it would take me 2 or 3 days per book. She wrote them under the name Jenny Carroll, but I think they've all come out now under Meg Cabbot.

No leads on novels about remote viewing on terroroists. Wanna write it?
Frequent Contributor
dixielandgrl
Posts: 285
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Clay's protectiveness

How does one collaborate on a story? I've never tried it. Heck. I'm still trying to finish one. Maybe a partner would egg me on.

Although the happy news is that Allison and Clay are very close to the end of chapter two. It's two chapters in a week for me! Where's the confetti?

Remote viewing is an awesome subject for me because I can do it. I took a test and scored 75 percent which is good. Most people score 50 to 60. It's fun to try. Anyone can try. Which homeland security agency would get the RVS- remote viewing squad.
"If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be:" Thomas Campion
Frequent Contributor
LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Next posting?

Maybe another scene between hero and heroine -- or one showing the heroine interacting with a secondary character.

Happy writing,
Leigh
Frequent Contributor
LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Too much hero?-- and plotting/planning

I think a hero gets to be too much when he stops helping and starts bossing -- taking over his sister's life and telling her what to do may make him look like a control freak instead of a hero.

One rule of thumb might be, how would you react to this behavior if it was directed at you? Would you see it as caring, or overbearing?

Another checkpoint: How would you react if this was another character, not the hero, behaving this way? If he's only getting by with this extreme behavior because you've explained that he's the hero so we know he's a good guy, it may be too much.

As for plotting/planning -- I typically know the short term and long term conflicts, the black moment, and the happy ending, but I never know all the events in between. But that's my style and it isn't right for everybody.

Happy writing,
Leigh
Frequent Contributor
ChristineM
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎12-31-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Leigh

Ok, here's another question that I'm personally having a lot of trouble with right now. How do you stay focused when you suddenly seem to have attention deficit disorder and can't manage to write more than a couple of sentances without wandering off somewhere (like a message board)?
Frequent Contributor
lavenderlass
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎01-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Leigh

I do that Christine - my attention is always wandering off to a message board! (Don't tell me, you've noticed!) But in a way I don't mind, because I've learnt such a lot about my craft here that it's worth it. I don't see much point in steaming on and writing loads more rubbish, I'd rather write a smaller amount and know that it's minus all the faults that I've been stuck with over the years. I might be off target for finishing my work, but not off topic for learning.

Also, I find that I'm a bit like a boy with a new toy, now that I understand pov better amongst other things, I actually write better and more in the evenings because my head is clearer and I enjoy it more! The day will come when we don't talk so much (sob,sob) but until then I'm happy to learn.

Leigh that is really amazing not to know all the details of your plot. Does the next scene just come to you in the right order when you need it or do you have to sit and think about it? I'm actually finding plotting works better for me, otherwise I get stuck. I just heard a really good idea to get unstuck, and that is to write a list of that characters clothes. I reckon that would really help with characterisation.

Lynne.
Frequent Contributor
LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Staying focused

Oh, good question -- how to stay focused and not wander off to message boards (or games of Spider Solitaire, or email...)

Maybe try a timer and a reward system -- "I'll write for fifteen minutes and then I can..."

Keep a time sheet. Pretend you're punching a time clock when you start to write, and "clock out" for your breaks. This not only helps you see whether you're using your time wisely, but accounting to yourself and writing it down will make you more productive just so you don't have to write down that you were unproductive. (It's sort of like writing down eerything we eat -- we autmoatically eat more carefully when we're keeping a log.)

Set a goal. "After I write my X pages for the day, I will quit and..." (The bonus is if you get to the end of the pages and want to keep going.) But make this a reasonable, achievable goal.

Check out whether you know what comes next in your story. When I'm killing time and looking for something better to do than writing, it's usually because I'm stuck or blocked, or a character has done something that doesn't fit the story or their personality. S I need to back up and read the last scene and fix it, or figure out what comes next -- and then I'm not as tempted to go read my email or check out the message board.

I hope these things will work for you!

Leigh
Frequent Contributor
ChristineM
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎12-31-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Staying focused

You know, the time log sounds like it would suit my personality. It always works when I keep a food dairy. I've experienced the "something's wrong" goofing off enough to know what that feels like. Delete the same 500 words enough times and it's time to take a walk. The hard part is when I've figured out the problem and my brain is still playing hooky.

Oh man, now I want to go over to Pogo and play spider solitaire…
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Book Club Editor



realta wrote:
Hi, Jessica.

Is there any way to auto-flag replies to messages we've posted? Or do we just have to check back in on our old posts to see if anyone's commented on them?

Many thanks--
Realta




Hi, you can ask all technical questions on the help board; go to main page and there is a directory. They will help you with this.
ziki
Contributor
ElleCarroll
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-23-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Time Travel Changes

[ Edited ]
Back from the conference, beaten and battered, but inspired.

One of my consult agents wants me to split my submission into two books --- forget the time travel aspect --- make one a contemporary (I have an "extremely strong premise that she could sell" and, she "definitely hopes that I will take her suggestion" to write it into a contemporary during the next three months) and the other, a historical.

The second consult agent felt that paranormal vampires are trending out and time travel is trending back in, but, she doesn't acquire time travels (even though the conference post had stated that she did, which is why I decided to go with her as one of my one-on-ones).

The "advance read" editor did not finish reading or critiquing my submission, and critiqued it on the basis the story was a contemporary (although I had defined it as a time travel in the submission description). Her suggestion was I had "given away too much too soon," and perhaps I "shouldn't let the reader know the heroine dies". When I told her gently the entry was a time travel romance, and the heroine needed to get back to the past in some way, the editor blushed from her collarbone to her hairline, and said she was not acquiring time travels (even though the conference post had stated her editorial team was acquiring submissions in the genre --- again, one of the main reasons I had selected her for one of my reviews. The odd part about the entire episode was that I had registered early for the conference and was able to get all of the one-on-one interviews I had requested after I had carefully researched category acquisitions bios). One of the other reasons I had submitted to her was because she is an acquisitions editor for MIRA in Toronto, and I felt the skillbuilding and critiquing from Leigh's on-line classes had given my writing a "Harlequin patina". (The editor did comment my entry seemed to be "more suitable for one of the other Harlequin lines, but not for MIRA" --- perhaps I should consider that possibility as an avenue for submission).

And finally, I did receive a "request to submit" a partial --- three chapters and synopsis --- from an editor I met "at large" while mingling among the wine and cheese platters.

I also received lots of info about marketing books and networking on the internet in the "new way': blogs, POD, website design, linking, article writing, etc. All in all, I found the conference to be very informative and well worth the investment.

However, my unresolved dilemma remains concerning the suggested changes to my manuscript --- do I do the splits, submit as is, or sit on it?

Any suggestions?

Linda H.

Message Edited by ElleCarroll on 02-01-200712:31 PM

Message Edited by ElleCarroll on 02-01-200712:57 PM

Message Edited by ElleCarroll on 02-01-200701:02 PM

Frequent Contributor
dixielandgrl
Posts: 285
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Time Travel Changes

I know it sounds like a lot of runaround, but that conference sounds to me like a very profitable time for you. Congratulations!
"If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be:" Thomas Campion
Frequent Contributor
Vicky
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Leigh

I was about to edit prior partials for my characterization exercise when the following question occurred. Is it better to work with old scripts or create new work? What's going to help me learn best in this class? Does it matter?

Vicky
Frequent Contributor
Vicky
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Leigh

I have always had problems understanding the mechanics of proper plotting. While I write a story with action that seems to flow naturally, I don't understand what I am doing to make that happen. Throughout my life teachers explained about the denouement, climaxes and many other terms with examples. Somehow my brain cannot grasp how all these parts come together in a story. I understand the definitions perfectly, but when they are applied to actual stories where I need to dissect each part, I'm lost.

Are we going to touch on this in class? Can you help me? Or tell me what to do to get help? I skimmed your chapter on 'Building A Believable Plot' in "On Writing Romance" and intend to read it as soon as I get my characterization and the first section work caught up. I noticed your chapter approached plotting from a different angle than I've seen before. (Just got the book last week. I've only had time to flip through it so far but it looks really helpful.)

Thank-you, Vicky
Frequent Contributor
LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Revising or writing new?

Hi, Vicky -- Either one can help you a great deal. I think we learn most from sticking to a project and finishing it (the best way to learn to write a book is writing an entire book), but it's also true that if the foundations aren't solid, then it's a moot exercise to add pages to a story that's going nowhere.

So I'd say if you like the characters and the basic idea, then revising may help you to get everything in line so you can write the whole story. But if there are big problems and you're not able to figure out how to solve them, then starting fresh is a better idea.

How's that for a non-answer answer? ;-)

Happy writing,
Leigh
Frequent Contributor
LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Plotting

We will do a thread on plotting a bit later on, and that will include some specific writing exercises and a more extensive look at plotting, cause and effect, what if? and backwards plotting techniques, etc. I think you'll enjoy the experience!

Best,
Leigh
Frequent Contributor
lavenderlass
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎01-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Leigh

I had that problem too for years Vicky, it really held me back because I couldn't see how I could even begin to start. Then I took another book I liked and wrote down a summary of what happened in each chapter then scene. That helped a lot, and then I just started to do it and that helped loads too, and is still helping because I'm learning a lot as I go. I was suprised to find how actually doing it taught me loads.

'On Writing Romance' is superb, I think because it shows not just tells. Leigh says if you it this way, this is the result, or if you do it that way, that is the result. it really brings the lessons to life. She's managed to distill all her many years writing into one book. It's excellent.

Lynne.
Contributor
Brandy
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-01-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Staying focused

Leigh,

I have this problem of writing scenes and then finding out that they fit in a different part of my story later. My question is what is the best way to keep up with my changes. I tried using scene cards but it takes time write them. That's time that I could be using to write the story.

Brandy
Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
1
Users Online
Currently online: 100 members 517 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: